The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme was established in 1973 during the Gen. Yakubu Gowon administration to among others, forge national unity and inculcate the spirit of nationalism among the Nigerian youths.
So far, the scheme has done its best towards achieving these noble dream, but there is yet another goal to be achieved, which is, the creation of job through its Community Development Service (CDS) by engaging outstanding corps members into various federal government agencies through their CDS groups.
The 17th Director-General of the Scheme, Brigadier General Sulaiman Zakari Kazaure, has achieved a milestone in the history of the NYSC since his assumption of office. The appointment of a personality who is not only qualified, but has the right attitude, experience and pedigree to pilot the affairs of the Scheme is imperative.
Kazaure, who recently completed two years in office, came to the job with an impressive profile – a doctorate degree in Chemistry and accomplishments in various positions in the military establishment. Since assumption of office two years ago, Gen Kazaure has been gradually turning around the fortunes of the 44 years old Scheme. On assumption, he evaluated the challenges of his office occasioned by the need to upgrade camp facilities in NYSC orientation camps nationwide.
Kazaure has also succeeded in charting a new course towards rediscovering the optimism of the founding fathers of the NYSC which is to build a united, strong, prosperous and self reliant nation. And this has attracted deserved recognition and awards for him, including the Fellowship of Chemical Society of Nigeria and Outstanding Northern Nigeria Alumnus award from the LEADERSHIP Newspapers.
As a good manager of human resources, Kazaure believes that motivation of staff is the surest way to get the best out of them. This informed his unwavering commitment to evolving confidence in building measures aimed at engendering industrial harmony. It is on record that on assumption of duty he immediately cleared the backlog of unpaid staff entitlements and restored other statutory staff allowances. In addition, a greater percentage of staff of the scheme that sat for promotion exam in the past two years were promoted.
He upgraded the NYSC staff clinic with the procurement of state of the art facilities. These measures have raised the morale of the staff to new heights.
Cognisance of the fact that it is the statutory responsibility of state governments to build and maintain orientation camps, Kazaure embarked on advocacy visits to state governors to appeal to them to renovate and upgrade their orientation camps. Dividends of these visits are already reflecting in the increased provision and expansion of facilities in NYSC orientation camps by a good number of state governments as enshrined in the NYSC Act.
He launched an intervention programme which saw many camps like Zamfara and Enugu bedeviled by perennial water scarcity getting boreholes while Kano, Kwara, Bayelsa and Benue states got power generators. Many camps have equally benefitted from the provision of water tankers, double bunk beds, mattresses, renovation of accommodation facilities and other projects aimed at upgrading facilities to make the camps more conducive for corps members and camp officials during orientation exercises.
In addition, ambulances, Hilux vans and 166 motor bikes have been procured and distributed to state secretariats of NYSC to aid effective supervision and monitoring of corps members.
Another monumental achievement recorded under Kazaure’s administration, include the resuscitation and revitalisation of vital but moribund projects and programmes of the NYSC. In line with the federal government agenda to diversify the economy through harnessing the country’s potentials in the non oil sector, the scheme under Kazaure’s leadership has begun resuscitating its moribund agricultural projects through the establishment of integrated farm settlements in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country. Four of them located in the FCT, Bauchi, Kebbi and Oyo states are already operational and equipped with modern farm implements,
In order to increase the visibility of the scheme, the NYSC D-G has invigorated the existing programmes and collaborations of the scheme with many government and non governmental organisations and brought on board new ones including the partnership with the European Union and the Pan African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategy (PAIGAS) – all aimed at checking and ensuring proper enlightenment.
Similarly, the Health Initiative for Rural Dwellers programme of the NYSC has been intensified by General Kazaure. The progamme takes free healthcare delivery on monthly and quarterly basis to rural dwellers that have little or no access to health facilities through the corps’ health personnel in all the NYSC formations. The Kazaure-led administration has, through this project, distributed 150 wheel chairs to physically challenged persons across the country. This has further enhanced the impact and visibility of the scheme nationwide.
–Stellamaries is an editorial staff of Leadership Newspaper
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